A DEVOTED daughter from Stratford whose father died suddenly from cardiac arrest has paddle boarded 100K for the British Heart Foundation.
Clare Usher took part in the two-day Trent 100 – billed as the UK’s ‘most thrilling’ Stand Up Paddle boarding event – with a group of friends to help power the research that could assist people like her father in the future.
Heart and circulatory diseases affect over 7.6 million people across the UK, with 67,000 of those living in Warwickshire alone.
Clare said she had initially taken up paddle boarding, like so many others, at the end of the first lockdown during the pandemic
The 42-year-old continued: “I took it up at the end of lockdown one in 2020 because I tried it a couple of years earlier, enjoyed it and was looking to do things that didn’t involve being around lots of people.
“I just started doing longer and longer paddles and then I became aware of the Trent 100 event.”
The Trent 100 starts at Great Hayward in Staffordshire, crosses three counties through fast water and finishes two days later in Nottingham.
Not everyone finishes and in fact Clare didn’t make it the first time she tried.
She explained: “I really struggled to finish day one the first year I did it, but it made me more determined to take part again.
“This year I was with a group of four friends and we all supported each other – which we needed to as it was incredibly challenging, mentally as well as physically.”
Clare, who works as an environmental engagement manager for Severn Trent Water, said she had chosen BHF to raise cash for in honour of her father Steve, who died following a heart attack at home.
She added: “We had zero idea anything was wrong with him and that was the hardest thing to come to terms with – one day he’s absolutely fine walking around, he appeared to be healthy and fit and didn’t look his age and then he was gone. You just can’t reconcile it.
“He loved fishing and lived in Stratford near the river. Sometimes I would paddle past him so that’s another reason why I wanted to do this challenge.”
To support Clare visit https://www.justgiving.com/page/clare-usher-1689270499218